For over a year, the Brooklyn Nets relentlessly pursued a trade with the Orlando Magic to acquire center Dwight Howard, who made it clear that Brooklyn was his preferred destination. The Dwightmare, we called it.
But proposal after proposal fell short, and the Magic elected to trade Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to press the reset button on their franchise.
Speaking with Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders, Howard sheds a little more light on his thought process in those days, and how he presumed a trade was definite.
From Basketball Insiders:
Howard’s peers tried to prepare him for a potential move. They shared stories of their past experiences, including those who had been traded while they were in flight with their team. Anything could happen at any time.
“You can’t help but look at the clock,” Howard said. “It’s a tough situation for anybody.”
Even as the trade deadline came and went, speculation surrounding Howard never completely ceased. In the summer of 2012, reports emerged that Howard requested a trade from the Magic. Unlike midseason when he didn’t know what would happen, Howard believed his next move was clear.
“I thought the Brooklyn thing was going to come through at the end of the season,” Howard said of a potential trade to the Nets. “It was something that was promised, but it didn’t happen. Once it didn’t happen I figured everything happens for a reason. I just let it go. I was upset for a while, but I just let it go.”
Makes you wonder who promised it to him.
Howard signed a four-year deal with the Houston Rockets this offseason, with an opt-out clause written in after the third season. He’s currently averaging 17.9 points and 12.5 rebounds in 34 minutes per game, having played all 41 of Houston’s contests.
Full interview below.
Basketball Insiders — Howard Thrilled to Be Out of Trade Rumors